Interview: Marion Stewart, Security Excellence Awards finalist

'I'm most proud of the outreach we do into our local community'

clock • 3 min read

Finalist in the Security Woman of the Year category shares some thoughts with Computing ahead of the awards.

Cybersecurity is an ongoing battle to maintain stringent defences against progressively more sophisticated, targeted and increasingly automated attacks. Whilst most companies acknowledge that their defences will occasionally fail, cybersecurity teams are under pressure to mitigate the impact of attacks, keeping confidential data secure and minimising the impact on business continuity. 

The Computing Security Excellence Awards celebrate the achievements and innovation of the industry's leading companies, solutions and above all – people – who are doing their best to keep us, and our data, safe.  

This years' winners will be announced at a live awards ceremony on Thursday 2nd May in London. 

One of the finalists in the Security Woman of the Year category is Marion Stewart, CEO at cyber security specialist Red Helix. Marion is an integral part of Red Helix's growth. With more than 30 years of industry experience, Marion has held various senior roles in the technology sector, including C-suite roles at Savvis, Alternative Networks, Daisy and Pulsant.

We caught up with Marion in advance of the event to talk through some of the achievements that she's most proud of, why these awards matter and the challenges and opportunities for Red Helix. 

"I'm so proud of our team here who keep our clients safe 24 x 7 and I'm also proud of our clients and how they engage with us," she says.

Marion is most proud of the approach Red Helix takes to addressing the tech talent shortage. She is a huge advocate of attracting and retaining diverse talent into the sector and has implemented programmes such as the one she describes here:

"I think what I'm most proud of the outreach we do into our local community like our schools coding program where our staff volunteer with a few schools every week to go and run some technical sessions with them to try and stimulate their interest in STEM subjects and cyber as a career choice. 

"The work we do there in terms of building future potential entrants into the IT sector and the cyber sector is fantastic."

Why do events like the Computing Security Excellence Awards matter? 

"As an industry we don't talk enough about the great things that we do and the brilliant things we achieve every day and how we protect UK businesses. Having these awards means that we can showcase the depth and breadth of what we do but also the career options available in the industry and attracting new talent and really celebrating the successes that we have."

Where does Marion think the opportunities for her and Red Helix lie? 

"In the cyberworld it's about getting the basics right. There are opportunities for companies like Red Helix to work across the UK midmarket helping them with the hygiene factors and foundational levels of cybersecurity. 

"Beyond that there's the challenge of AI - the good and the bad and all the opportunities it brings."  

Watch the video above to hear more from Marion. 

The Computing Security Excellence Awards will take place on 2nd May in London. Click here to see the finalists and here to book your table. 


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